Val Kilmer as MacPherson in Conspiracy (2008)

Bad Day in New Lago

"Conspiracy" looks like one of those direct to DVD movies which would star someone like Seagal, Snipes or Van Damme yet it isn't as it actually had a small cinema release and stars Val Kilmer. Having said that it is no different to those direct to DVD movies and ended up like a mix of "Bad Day at Black Rock" and "The Magnificent Seven" as we have a lone man entering a town looking for an old friend only to discover that the town is run by a nasty business man using Mexicans as slaves and everyone covering up a secret. It isn't brilliant but with Val Kilmer making a nice change to the likes of Seagal, Snipes and Van Damme it manages to stay entertaining even if wholly predictable.

MacPherson (Val Kilmer - Deja Vu) was a Marine till on a special ops mission he ended up losing a leg in an explosion and forced to retire, mentally and physically scarred by what happened. When he gets a call from his former Marine buddy Miguel (Greg Serano) to head down South as he needs help MacPherson pawns his gun to get enough money for the long bus journey down to New Lago, a town which looks like somewhere out of the Wild West but with cars where horses were hitched and a Dunkin Donuts on a street corner. He soon becomes aware that his arrival is not welcome especially when he mentions Miguel and before long he suspects that John Rhodes (Gary Cole), who basically owns the town, has had his heavies kill his friend and no one dare speak up against him.

Jennifer Esposito as Joanna in Conspiracy (2008)

So for those who know there movies will watch "Conspiracy" and find themselves thinking of other movies, I mentioned "Bad Day at Black Rock" and "The Magnificent Seven" but I could have mentioned a variety of westerns because that is what this basically is, just an update on one. Now admittedly there is something amusing when we enter this town which looks like it is a relic from the Wild West with cars pulled up next to hitchin' posts. But get beyond that, well it is just familiar and basically builds to the predictable ending where MacPherson, having learned what happened to Miguel and gained a few allies goes about bringing Rhodes and his heavies down.

Beyond the familiarity of the story and the amusing update on a Wild West town we do have action or at least a second half which features action because the first half is almost devoid of it. It is entertaining and has a brutality to it which occasionally borders on the shockingly comical when it comes to MacPherson's knife throwing skills. Talking of shockingly comical there is the fact that MacPherson lost a leg and we have a scene of Val Kilmer naked in a shower with what appears to be his lower leg missing. It does make you double take but in truth the whole one leg thing seems to be a novelty thrown in for a couple of entertaining scenes.

Aside from the one leg business, well to be honest Val Kilmer does look comfortable in the role of MacPherson although he doesn't really make him an action hero. In fact no one really delivers a truly believable character be it Gary Cole as the villainous John Rhodes or Jennifer Esposito as the attractive local Joanna who befriends MacPherson. And when it comes to Rhodes' heavies well we are talking a lot of over acting to the point of being comical.

What this all boils down to is that "Conspiracy" is nothing new and despite a limited run in cinemas in the States is really one of those familiar direct to DVD movies with Val Kilmer in a role normally occupied by Seagal, Snipes or Van Damme. It's not terrible but ultimately forgettable and the sort of Friday night flick which come the next morning you will struggle to remember.